The Papers of General Nathanael Greene

From General George Weedon,

Acknowledges NG's letters of 15 and 26 December 1780.[1] There is to be a meeting to arrange the Virginia line on 20 February; the "dispersed Officers" did not receive notice in time to meet in December, as had been planned.[2] "After rangling with the Assembly one whole fortnight made a shift to get some measures adopted tending to the good of the Service in general, and much to the advantage of our line in particular."[3] Discusses the British capture of Richmond and details the large quantity of public stores lost there and at Westham. The British accomplished this "Coup de Main" without firing a shot. "This you'll say is a pritty tale to tell. Two or three visits of this kind will I hope open the Eyes of our wise heads." Weedon was ordered to raise and arrange the local militia to defend [James] Hunter's foundry and the "Potowmack." He had "1400 men Assembled" when he learned that the British were preparing "to possess the lower parts of Virginia," as NG "wisely Suggested" they would. Weedon then sent 500 militia riflemen to reinforce Baron Steuben.[4] He continues:
You judge right when you say we are strong. Nothing is wanting but prudent Measures to make us Independent. A wise Nation after Six years war would Certainly be prepared with the means of defence, but so far has private gratification predominated over publick Security that at this day we are found without any Military arrangment worthy the Attention of a petty people.[5]
Laments NG's "Situation" and pledges that the "present Divertion in Virginia shall not prevent Supplies going forward" to NG— if Weedon has "any influence." Discusses the mutiny of the Pennsylvania line and its suppression. Believes it was "Ex[c]ited by British Deserters enlisted into that line, and no doubt sent out orginally for that particular purpose."[6] Weedon took [Richard] Claiborne to Richmond "with a View of introducing him into the line," but when "no arrangement took place," Weedon "got him Appointed Q. Master of the State."[7] Believes NG's change of "Position" was "very judicious." Is pleased that NG has "the Confidence of the people, which was totally lost to your Predecessor.[8] I know the goodness of your Soul, and am not afraid of yr being disgraced as I well know everything that can be done by an officer, will be fully Executed by you." Urges NG to "struggle on" and "fight Shy" until he is reinforced from Virginia; assures him that "no time shall be lost" in sending reinforcements.[9]
Autograph letter signed (MiU-C) 4 pp.
    [1.] The letter of 15 December has not been found.
    [2.] On the problems of arranging the Virginia line, see Weedon to NG, 21 December 1780 (PGNG, 6: 604); Davies to NG, 20 February (PGNG, 7: 322-323).
    [3.] Weedon probably referred to an act of the legislature to adjust the pay of members of the Virginia Continental line "agreeable to the table of depreciation fixed by congress." The same law granted half pay for life to those officers who served until the end of the war. It also provided for the payment of bounties in land to general officers while increasing the land bounties that had previously been offered to other grades of officers. (Hening, Statutes, 10: 374 -75)
    [4.] On Benedict Arnold's capture of Richmond, see Steuben to NG, 8 January (PGNG, 7: 76-81). Concerning Weedon's activities during the invasion, see Steuben to NG, 11 January (PGNG, 7: 97-99). In his letter to Weedon of 21 November 1780 (PGNG, 6: 500), NG had suggested that the British planned to control "the lower part" of Virginia.
    [5.] Weedon must have been responding to NG's letter of 15 December.
    [6.] The mutiny is discussed at Madison to NG, 13 January (PGNG, 7: 116-118).
    [7.] As seen above (PGNG, 6: 467-68n), it was Col. Edward Carrington who had arranged for Claiborne's appointment as deputy quartermaster in Virginia.
    [8.] Weedon referred to the Southern Army's move to its camp of repose near the Pee Dee River in South Carolina. NG's predecessor was Gen. Horatio Gates.
    [9.] Virginia continued to have great difficulties in recruiting troops for the Southern Army. (See Jefferson to NG, 16 January, at PGNG, 7: 134-135)